Background and purpose: Adjuvant radiation therapy for resectable pancreatic cancer remains controversial. Sub-populations of radiosensitive tumors might exist given the genetic heterogeneity of pancreatic cancers. We evaluated whether RSI is predictive of survival in pancreatic cancer treated with radiation.
Materials and methods: We identified 73 genomically-profiled pancreas cancer patients treated with upfront surgery between 2000 and 2011 (48 radiation, 25 no radiation). Briefly, RSI score is derived from the expression of 10 specific genes and a linear regression algorithm modeled on SF2 of 48 cancer cells. The primary endpoint was to assess the association of RSI with overall survival.
Results: Median follow-up was 67months for surviving patients. On multivariate analysis, patients with radioresistant tumors had a trend toward worse survival (Hazard ratio [HR] 2.1 [95% CI 1.0-4.3], p=0.054). Among high-risk, irradiated patients (positive margins, positive lymph nodes, or a post-operative CA19-9 >90; n=31), radiosensitive patients had significantly improved survival compared with radioresistant patients (median 31.2 vs. 13.2months; HR 0.42 [0.19, 0.94], p=0.04). Among irradiated patients (n=48), low-risk patients lived longer than both high-risk patients with radiosensitive tumors and radioresistant tumors (HR 2.7 [1.0, 7.2], p=0.04 and HR 6.3 [2.3, 17.0], p<0.001, respectively).
Conclusions: Integrating RSI with standard high-risk variables has the potential to refine the classification of high-risk resected pancreatic cancer patients treated with radiation therapy.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01754623.
Keywords: Cancer; Pancreas; Radiation; Radiosensitivity; Surgery; Survival.
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